Patricia Garcia Injured in 18-Wheeler Accident on I-10 in Fayette County, TX
Fayette County, TX -- May 8, 2022, 54-year-old Patricia Garcia and her passenger were injured in a crash with a commercial truck on Interstate 10 in Fayette County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 5:40 p.m. on I-10 near mile marker 657. Preliminary investigation suggests Garcia was driving a Hyundai Elantra west on the highway in the inside lane, followed as some distance by a Ford Mustang. A Freightliner tractor-trailer was also westbound in the outside lane.
According to reports the truck driver disregarded signage for a construction zone, as well as a traffic control device. The truck continued straight ahead instead of shifting lanes as directed; Garcia tried to pass it before her own lane ended but hit a construction barrel and a metal barrier. The Elantra overturned and rolled, then was hit by the Freightliner.
The truck dragged the Hyundai a short distance further down the road before it too hit the metal barrier, causing it to roll onto its side. Both vehicles came to rest blocking the road. Debris from their crash hit the Mustang.
Garcia and her 51-year-old passenger suffered serious injuries in the crash. The truck driver and the Mustang driver were reportedly unhurt.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Patricia Garcia Accident on I-10 in Fayette County
Some may feel the reported facts of the crash clearly point to the truck driver as the at-fault party. With details like the ones in reports, how could he or his employer do anything but accept the blame and try to make things right?
That may sound reasonable, but I caution against thinking a commercial truck accident is so easily resolved or the victims will automatically get the help they need and deserve. The default position of just about any trucking company is to deny responsibility unless clear evidence keeps them from doing so.
But what denials could they offer in Fayette County if the truck driver ignored signage and plowed straight into a construction zone? There are a few ways they might handle that. For instance, I've seen plenty of attempts to blame visibility issues for similar crashes. If the wreck happens in the daytime they blame sun glare, if it's at night they say there wasn't enough light to see clearly. Sometimes they switch that up and say an oncoming vehicle's headlights were blindingly bright, but the point is always the same: Deflect, dispute, deny.
Especially punchy defense attorneys might try to blame the victims for their own injuries. Absurd as that seems, it wouldn't shock me to hear suggestions that the victim should have slowed down rather than trying to pass the truck--even as the big rig forged straight ahead instead of obeying construction signage. I've seen plenty of bad-faith arguments made on a company's behalf because the burden of proving them wrong falls to the victims. That can be a tall order while they're still trying to recuperate.
The takeaway here is that things are rarely open-and-shut after a commercial truck accident, no matter how straightforward it may look on paper. As with any crash, victims are best served by gathering indisputable evidence of what really happened instead of trusting things are clear enough that the company will have to do the right thing.
Speaking of that evidence, police investigations are rarely enough by themselves to find all the needed facts. It's often better for those affected by these accidents to work with independent investigators. Armed with the evidence those professionals find, many victims have successfully been able to hold trucking companies accountable and get the help they need.